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Introduction

69

became a subsection of it. For example, for five species of geese within USSR fauna, that were characterized by Stepanyan (2003) within the genera Chen, Philacte, Eulabeia, Cygnopsis, we include them the genus Anser, the monotypic genus Rufibrenta we classify as part of the genus Branta, the monotypic genus Lusciniola as a part of the genus

Acrocephalus, and these forms in the genera Pseudogyps, Sphenurus, Megalurus and Suthora found in Russia we classify as Gyps, Treron, Locustella and Paradoxornis, respectively. In total, 9 genus names were excluded from our checklist, and one names (Sphenurus) was substituted for another (Treron).

For those taxa where we thought a more detailed classification more appropriate we define 16 genera that are found in Russia: Tachybaptus from

Podiceps; Phoebastria from Diomedea; Morus from Sula; Casmerodius from Egretta; Marmaronetta from Anas; Mergellus from Mergus; Coturniceps from Porzana; Megaceryle from Ceryle; Cecropis from Hirundo; Tribura from Bradypterus; Passerculus from Ammodramus; Miliaria, Ocyris, Schoeniclus, Cristemberiza, Granativora from Emberiza. Thus, 13 genus names were added, and 3 were changed (Diomedea, Bradypterus, Ammodramus changed to Phoebastria, Tribura, Passerculus, respectively).

In some cases, Latin grammar rules required us to change the endings of the species names when the genera names were changes. For example, the change from Philacte canagica to Anser canagicus requires the change of the species endings because the noun Philacte is feminine while Anser is masculine. Such changes in nomenclature were also made in our checklist.

In sum, taxonomical revisions led to an addition of 27 species to the checklist, while two species were excluded (in comparison to Stepanyan, 2003). In addition, 36 forms were subject to name and other changes. 26 genus name changes affected 44 species.

In a few diverse superspecies and genus taxa, as a result of our revision the taxonomy and nomenclature was modified. Within one superspecies group some groups were revised to genus level while some groups were demoted (for example, in ‘Motacilla flavasensu lato and ‘Corvus coronesensu lato). The genus Emberiza (sensu lato) was changed to a superspecies group that unites at least 6 separate genera with two new species. Independent revisions of the genus and species names lead to complete metamorphosis of the scientific name. For example Tribura (thoracica)

70

Список птиц Российской Федерации

davidi (La Touche, 1923) used to be Bradypterus thoracicus (Blyth, 1845) according to Stepanyan (2003).

For a number of groups our decision was not final. We suspect that further revisions are required for the genera Locustella, Acrocephalus, Hippolais and Parus.Also, some of the following species should be elevated to the superspecies level: Anas poecilorhyncha, Buteo buteo, Larus canus, Otus bakkamoena, Dendrocopos major, Delichon urbicum, Motacilla alba, Pica pica, Corvus macrorhynchos, Troglodytes troglodytes, Phylloscopus bonelli, Saxicola torquata, Monticola solitarius, Myophonus caeruleus, Sitta europaea, Parus ater, Parus palustris, Schoeniclus schoeniclus.

Subspecies systematics

The subspecies taxonomy was subject of most revisions in comparison with Stepanyan (2003). In most cases, we based our decisions on our own experiences and materials, partially gathered in numerous collections, especially the Zoological museum of the Moscow State University, and the Zoological institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. We also took into account recent studies that utilized various molecular methods. In this edition, we consciously avoid the addition of special commentary and references to all works related to the subspecies systematics that were used in preparation of the checklist. This was done for several reasons. Firstly, at this stage our goal is to provide a complete checklist, without an extended discussion of intraspecies diversity, issues in nomenclature or the specifics of species expansions. The compilation of detailed description that contains a discussion of these issues is a subject of future research. Secondly, for a substantial fraction of subspecies classifications we relied on personal observations some of which are still in preparation for publication. Thirdly, in many cases classifications that existed prior to the checklists compiled by Stepanyan (1975, 1978, 1990, and 2003) were deemed more appropriate. Such older classifications can be found, among other literature, in Complete reference of birds of the USSR (1935-1941), Birds of the Soviet Union (1951-1954), The birds of the Palearctic fauna

(Vaurie, 1959, 1956) and the reference Birds of the USSR from the Fauna of the USSR (1951-1960) series.

Subspecies names are shown in blue in those cases where the subspecies classification or its presence on the territory of the former Soviet Union was not considered by Stepanyan (2003). For all subspecies a general

Introduction

71

geographic description is given. The status of geographical forms is given in the same format as species names, with the exception of when only intermediate forms were described on Russian territory. Such cases are labelled with a dash before the Latin name and the letter I (for Intergrade). Some examples are shown below:

678. Ополовник Aegithalos caudatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

B

Длиннохвостая синица Aegithalos caudatus

 

(Linnaeus, 1758)

 

Aegithalos caudatus caudatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

B

Большая часть ареала вида в России, исключая Кавказ и Предкавказье,

 

Камчатку, южные Курильские о-ва

 

Aegithalos caudatus europaeus (Hermann, 1804)

I

 

Несколько экземпляров с переходными признаками Ae.c. caudatus×Ae.

 

c. europaeus отловлены в Калининградской области на Куршской косе

 

(А. П. Шаповал in litt.).

 

Aegithalos caudatus major (Radde, 1884)

B

Кавказ и Предкавказье

 

Aegithalos caudatus kamtschaticus Domaniewski, 1933

B

Камчатка

 

Aegithalos caudatus japonicus Prazák, 1897

B

Южные Курильские о-ва на север до Урупа

 

Aegithalos caudatus magnus (Clark, 1907)

V, I?

Приморский край (Лафер и др., 2003)

 

The European black-browed form of Long-tailed Tit A. c. europaeus is known in Russia only from specimens with intermediate characteristics of A. c. europaeus and A. c. caudatus. On the other hand, the Korean subspecies A. c. magnus is present in phenotypically ‘clean’forms. Only a single description exists of an intermediate individual of this species, with some characters resembling of another subspecies, which indicates the possibility that some intergrading forms may exist on the Russian territory.

According to Stepanyan (2003), species like Anas strepera, Aythya marila, Histrionicus histrionicus, Crex crex, Pluvialis apricaria, Calidris maritima, Stercorarius longicaudus, Rissa tridactyla, Ptychoramphus aleuticus, Merops persicus, Riparia diluta, Anthus pratensis, Lanius bucephalus, Lanius collurio, Locustella ochotensis, Locustella lanceolata, Muscicapa griseisticta, Phoenicurus auroreus, Luscinia calliope, Luscinia sibilans, Turdus chrysolaus and Ocyris rusticus do not form geographica-

72

Список птиц Российской Федерации

lly distinct forms. However, we classify them as polytypic. We classified

Glaucidium passerinum and Seiurus noveboracensis as monotypic species, in addition to elevating a few previously described forms to species status, because we judged the patterns of their diversity to be consistent with this classification.

We excluded one subspecies that was included previously based on an erroneous identification of a particular specimen. This is Branta canadensis occidentalis (Baird, 1858) that had been included in the USSR fauna checklist based on a specimen collected by Sokolnikov on 28 May 1903 on the Novomarinsky station on the Anadyr river. The specimen is currently located in the State Darwin Museum in Moscow collection (Ptushenko, 1952), but is actually a hybrid of two species, Branta canadensis and Anser fabalis. Despite this fact being reported previously (Oreshnikova 1982; Panov 1989), the erroneous identification curiously was included in later checklists (Stepanyan 1990, 2003; Ilyashenko, 2001c), and we are also guilty of having repeated this mistake (Koblik, Redkin, 2004a, b).

For 13 of the listed species, some of their subspecies currently do not have a scientific name and are labelled with “ssp”. Among them are the forms of species that include Gavia arctica, Lagopus lagopus, Lagopus mutus, Otus sunia, Riparia diluta, Eremophila alpestris, Motacilla tschutschensis, Regulus regulus, Luscinia calliope, Luscinia cyane and Parus cinctus as well as the previously described geographical forms of Aythya marila and Dendrocopos kizuki that require a novel scientific name. A number of manuscripts that attempt to resolve these issues are currently in press.

All changes to the nomenclature or the taxonomical standing of different forms that have been made on the species level are not reflected in the subspecies listings if these properties remain unchanged relative to Stepanyan (2003). In the example below, the Latin name of the species was changed, but the subspecies structure and distribution remained the same.

455. Малый жаворонок Calandrella brachydactyla

B

(Leisler, 1814)

 

Малый жаворонок Calandrella cinerea (J.F. Gmelin,

 

1789)

 

Introduction

73

Calandrella brachydactyla longipennis (Eversmann, 1848)

B

Западная часть ареала вида в России, к востоку до южного подножия

 

Восточного Саяна

 

Calandrella brachydactyla dukhunensis (Sykes, 1832)

B

Забайкалье

 

In cases where the taxonomical standing of the form that we report as geographically distinct, but consider our classification to be preliminary, the species name is enclosed in parentheses and highlighted. For example:

591. Зелёная пеночка Phylloscopus trochiloides

B

(Sundevall, 1837)

 

Phylloscopus trochiloides viridanus Blyth, 1843

B

Западная часть ареала вида, к востоку до долины Енисея и Восточного Саяна

 

Phylloscopus (trochiloides) plumbeitarsus Swinhoe, 1860

B

Восточная часть ареала вида, к западу, примерно, до длины Енисея и

 

Восточного Саяна

 

In this case, the species name of the Western form of the Greenish Warbler is preliminary, as is its status relative to other geographical forms of this species (viridanus, ludlowi, trochiloides and obscuratus). On the basis of vocalizations (Schubert, 1982) and sympatry with P. t. viridanus (Formozov, Marova, 1986) this form can be classified as a separate species (Dickinson, 2003). On the other hand, this placement is not unequivocal (Knox et al., 2002), and currently we are leaning towards conspecificity of the forms within this group.

In some cases, parentheses are used to distinguish the species names of both forms found on the territory of the Russian Federation. For example:

596. Пеночка-зарничка Phylloscopus inornatus (Blyth,

B

1842)

 

Phylloscopus (inornatus) inornatus (Blyth, 1842)

B

Большая часть ареала вида в России, к югу до северной оконечности

 

Кузнецкого Алатау, Западного и Восточного Саяна

 

Phylloscopus (inornatus) humei (W.E. Brooks, 1878)

B

Салаирский кряж, Кузнецкий Алатау, Восточный и Западный Саян, Алтай, Танну-Ола, к востоку до хребта Хамар-Дабан

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Список птиц Российской Федерации

This indicates that if the humei subspecies be considered sufficiently independent of other forms, it should be classified as a monotypic species (Irwin et al., 2001). However, currently the evidence is not strong enough to warrant such reclassification (Red’kin, Konovalova, 2003, 2004).

The geographical forms of three polytypical species (Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch), that form morphologically and genetically distinct groups were given quaternary names. At the same time, after the species name, the subspecies group name is given in parentheses. For example:

682. Черноголовая гаичка Parus palustris Linnaeus, 1758

B

Parus palustris (palustris) palustris Linnaeus, 1758

B

Северо-западные районы Европейской России, к югу примерно до 550 с. ш.

 

Parus palustris (palustris) stagnatilis C.L. Brehm, 1855

B

Зона широколиственных лесов Европейской части России, к востоку до

 

Южного Урала

 

Parus palustris (palustris) kabardensis (Buturlin, 1929)

B

Кавказ

 

Parus palustris (brevirostris) brevirostris (Taczanowski, 1872)

B

Юг Сибири

 

Parus palustris (brevirostris) crassirostris (Taczanowski, 1885)

B

Юг Хабаровского края; Приморский край

 

Parus palustris (brevirostris) ernsti Yamashina, 1933

B

Сахалин

 

Parus palustris (brevirostris) hensoni Stejneger, 1892

B

Южные Курильские о-ва

 

In this case, the species includes two geographically distinct forms, the Western palustris group that includes the European subspecies palustris, stagnatilis and kabardensis, and the Eastern brevirostris, group that unites the Asian brevirostris, crassirostris, ernsti and hensoni.

For Reed Bunting, traditionally separated into small-beaked, me- dium-beaked and large-beaked forms, only the last form can be reliably segregated into the pyrrhuloides group, which comprises a phenotypically distinct group of large-beaked individuals.

Cases that require further clarification (either individual specimens, or observations are not completely reliable) are labelled with a question mark ?”. For example:

Introduction

75

33. Красноногая олуша Sula sula (Linnaeus, 1766)

V

? Sula sula rubripes Gould, 1938

V

Хабаровский край: побережье Татарского пролива (Бутурлин, 1935)

 

Avifauna of the former USSR

 

It seems unreasonable to discontinue the publication of a bird checklist of the countries that were a part of the former Soviet Union, as it would break a century-old tradition. The checklist of the avifauna of Northern Eurasia continues its transformation thanks to new faunistic reports and taxonomical revisions. The latest edition of the Conspectus of ornithological fauna of Russia and adjacent territories by Stepanyan (2003) includes 824 species that were recorded within the historical boundaries of the USSR. An even more thorough checklist for Northern Eurasia was prepared by Zhukov (2004). Qualitative and quantitative changes in the avifauna of Northern Eurasia within the historical boundaries of the former Soviet Union in the course of half a century seem much more informative than changes within the smaller Russian borders recorded in the past decade (compare Tables 1 and 2).

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2

Avifauna of Northern Eurasia within the historical borders

 

of the Soviet Union

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dementiev

Ivanov,

Stepanyan,

Zhukov,

Our

Status of species

& Gladkov,

1976

2003

2004

data

 

1951-1954

 

 

 

 

 

Species found

632

672

719

-

740

breeding

 

 

 

 

 

Species found, but

59

84

81

-

116

not breeding

 

 

 

 

 

Species with an

8

5

20

-

12

unspecified status

 

 

 

 

 

Species no longer

2

4

4

-

7

found in the

 

 

 

 

 

USSR, or extinct

 

 

 

 

 

species

 

 

 

 

 

Total

701

765

824

864

875

Species excluded

6

5

7

-

32

from the checklist

 

 

 

 

 

76

Список птиц Российской Федерации

We continue the tradition of maintaining a checklist common to the territory of the former Soviet Union, and include an additional checklist of those species that are not found on Russian territory, but found on the territory of the Baltic or Commonwealth states (Appendix II). However, we have not had the capacity to be as careful in our consideration of these species as we were for the Russian checklist, and it was not the main subject of this publication. Nevertheless, Appendix II includes at least 6 vagrant species new for the former USSR territory checklist, recorded mostly in Ukraine, and some ‘problematic’findings that were excluded by other authors. We have also taken into account all taxonomic changes in a similar fashion as was done for the Russian checklist. However, this list does not include subspecies classifications. Similarly, changes relative to Stepanyan (2003) are labelled in blue. Appropriate commentary is given for those species that are included in the checklist for the first time, and the status of the species within the borders of the former Soviet Union (eg Breeding, Vagrant) is given in a separate column. There are a total of 875 species in the combined Russian and former USSR checklists.

We would be delighted to receive more detailed information from our colleagues in Byelorussia, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, the Baltic states, the Caucasus states, and Central Asian countries on species that have previously unrecorded in these countries to continue a joint effort in maintaining an avian checklist of the territory of the former USSR.

Avian checklist and birdwatching

The checklists of most countries are consistently upgraded due to monumental efforts by the birdwatching community. In many countries, many ornithologically oriented faunistic and taxonomical committees consist of non-professional ornithologists who nevertheless are avid birdwatchers. Non-professional simply means they are not paid for their efforts but that their income comes from non-ornithological employment – they are highly skilled in a wide range of ornithological aspects. In addition, new faunistic findings, updates and corrections are published almost exclusively in ‘amateur’ periodicals. The high integrity of journals such as

British Birds, Dutch Birding, Limicola and many others is beyond doubt. Such periodicals, and the hundreds of thousands of individuals that pore over ornithological descriptions, spending their weekends using their binoculars in the countryside, do not currently exist in Russia. It seems

Introduction

77

that the lack of this community is the main reason why the avifauna of the Russian Federation is much worse known than that of European countries, or than countries with much higher bird species diversity, such as Australia or South Africa.

Nevertheless, perhaps this fascination with birds will not remain outside Russian society. Indeed, even now the term ‘birdwatching’ has been integrated into the Russian language, no longer sounding like foreign gibberish to the Russian ear, and instead carries with it the meaning that it is a wonderful hobby.

It is thought that the emergence of birdwatching was initiated with the publication of the first North American bird fieldguide with colour illustrations. We also note that the existence and constant updating of official and unofficial avian checklists was also crucially important.

The central aspect of birdwatching is the creation of a personal checklist for all species seen by an individual birdwatcher. These lists are often a source of individual pride and competition within the community. Thus, most advanced birdwatchers maintain several personal checklists. Russian examples would be, ‘a checklist of species I saw in the Moscow region’, ‘the list of species I saw in European Russia’, or ‘species I saw in Russia’. To judge how complete or useful such personal checklists and observations may be, birdwatchers regularly compare them with official checklists for territories of interest. These comparisons form the starting point of birdwatching’s contribution to science, all possible without studying ornithology formally. Thus, consistently revised checklists of different birds in various territories form the basis of many birdwatching efforts, and personal efforts in updating official checklists are applauded within the birdwatching community.

The vacuum in ornithological advances that was created by the collapse of the Soviet Union was quickly filled by checklists of a variety of foreign birdwatchers. Some of these lists are available on the Internet, such as Aviabase – Bird Checklists of the World. Russia. Unfortunately, online publications rarely include detailed descriptions of the criteria that were used to document each particular observation.

In conclusion, we hope that the checklist presented in the current work will be sought after by the few Russian birdwatchers, and by foreign birdwatchers who study Russian bird diversity. Our checklist may also be of interest to those birdwatchers and their communities that study the avifauna of large territories, such as Asia, since we correct and update several

78

Список птиц Российской Федерации

more general checklists, such as Palearctic Birds (Beaman 1994) or the

Checklist of the Birds of the Oriental Region (Inskipp et al., 2001).

Acknowledgements

The authors offer their sincerest thanks to those colleagues who shared their materials, aided in the search of the literature, and gave extensive comments on the content and layout of the manuscript: Yu. B. Artyukhin, G. B. Bakhtadze, O. A. Burkovsky, O. P. Valchuk, Yu. N. Gluschenko, G. S. Djamirzoev, S. V. Yelsukov, G. G. Koerkamp, V. M. Loscot, N. P. Malkov, A. A. Nazarenko, Ye. V. Nesterov, V. A. Nechaev, V. K. Ryabitsev, V. N. Sotnikov, Ye. Ye. Siroyechkovsky, jr., P. S. Tomkovich, I. V. Fadeyev, I. V. Fefelov, A. P. Shapoval, Ye. A. Shapoval, J. E. Shergalin, P. de Kniff,

L.Svensson, M. S. Romanov, F. A. Kondrashov, M. V. Konovalova and

S.V. Divakova. Our gratitude goes to our editors — P. S. Tomkovich and

M.V. Kalyakin, and referees V. Yu. Ilyashenko and M. J. Blair.

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